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Can You Name The Main Characters from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?

Updated on September 4, 2013

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the world's longest-running and highest-rated TV special of all time, so chances are good that you've seen this animated special at least once, if not many times. But how well do you know the characters?

Can you name the elf who ran off with Rudolph, the prospector who helped them escape from the Abominable Snowman, the female reindeer who thought Rudolph was cute or the snowman who narrates the entire story?

If you've forgotten the names, here's a little refresher of some of the main characters.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is, of course, the star of this animated special. The misfit reindeer is based on a character created in 1939 by Robert L. May for Montgomery Ward. The retailer had been giving away coloring books at Christmas and decided they could save money by creating their own book.

May's story of a little red-nosed reindeer was an instant success. Montgomery Ward printed 2.5 million copies of the story the first year, and ten years later Gene Autry helped Rudolph become even more famous by recording the hit song.

In the animated special, Rudolph was actually played by a woman. Billy Mae Richards (who was credited as Billy Richards to disguise her gender) was the Canadian voice actress who brought the reindeer to life.


Hermey the Elf

Like Rudolph, Hermey the elf just didn't seem fit in at the North Pole. While the other elves were content making toys, he dreamed of being a dentist. He is also the only elf in the TV classic who has round ears instead of pointed ones. He and Rudolph sing, "We're a Couple of Misfits" and then run off together.

Hermey's voice for the classic TV special was provided by Paul Soles, a Canadian voice actor who starred in a variety of other TV shows and movies. One of the other roles for which he is best known is as the voice of Spider-Man in the 1960s animated series Spider-Man.


Yukon Cornelius

Yukon Cornelius was the Arctic prospector who helped Rudolph and Hermey avoid the Abominable Snowman and traveled with them to the Island of Misfit Toys.

The blustery prospector traveled on a sled pulled by a ragtag group of dogs that consisted of Saint Bernard, Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, Collie and a little Dachshund.

His voice was played by Larry Mann, a Canadian character actor who appeared in a variety of 1960s shows such as The Man from UNCLE and Bewitched.


Clarice the Doe

While the other reindeer were laughing at Rudolph and refusing to let him play reindeer games, Clarice was smitten with the young buck. Her comment that she thought he was "cute" helped Rudolph fly higher and farther than all the other aspiring young bucks. But when her father told Clarice he didn't want her to be "seen with a red-nosed reindeer," Rudolph ran off.

The doe is distinguished in the animated special by the red-and-white polka dotted bow. Janice Orenstein was the voice of Clarice.


Sam the Snowman

Frosty isn't the only famous talking snowman. Sam the Snowman was the narrator of the 1964 Rudolph TV special.

Voiced by Burl Ives, Sam the Snowman was also designed as a caricature of the actor and singer, who was well known for his beard and rotund appearance.

We Are Santa's Elves - A Classic Song from the TV Special

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